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Anticancer Drugs. 2011 Apr;22(4):308-10. doi: 10.1097/CAD.0b013e3283428193.

The need for effective radiosentitizing agents: experience in patients with complete pathological response.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Angelita and Joaquim Gama Institute, São Paulo, Brazil.


Chemoradiation therapy is now considered the preferred initial treatment strategy for distal rectal cancer because of the observation of better local disease control and significant tumor downstaging. Downstaging has become an important clinical outcome as patients with complete pathological response are associated with improved survival. Even though radiation alone may result in low local recurrence rates, the use of additional radiosensitizing agents may provide an increase in local disease control in addition to improved tumor regression rates. Several compounds have been investigated in the setting of neoadjuvant multimodality treatment of rectal cancer with variable rates of treatment-related toxicity and complete pathological response. The balance between complete pathological response and toxicity should aid in the management decision for the use of radiosensitizing agents in the neoadjuvant setting for the treatment of rectal cancer.

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